When entering the world of horology, you are inundated with myths about the history of the luxury brands and their legendary timepieces. Keep reading to learn the truth about 13 of the most famous luxury watch myths around.
1. Rolex sponsored the original James Bond films
The iconic film series was not sponsored by the luxury watch company. It was Ian Flemming, the author of the book series, that made sure his legendary character sported the Submariner 6538 in the first movie because of his own affection for the luxury brand.
2. Patek Philippe created the first wristwatch with a perpetual calendar
The 1925 version of Patek Philippe’s perpetual calendar mechanism was actually created for a lady’s pendant watch. It was in 1929 that Breguet created a piece that contained a perpetual calendar specifically designed for a wristwatch.
3. It is easier to see a brighter dial underwater
Colors are absorbed into the water the further a diver descends. Consequently, it is not the color of the dial that determines optimal visibility while underwater but rather the contrast in color between the hands and dial that is the determinant factor.
4. Omega Speedmaster is the only Luxury watch worn on the moon
Although the Omega Speedmaster is the first to be worn on the moon by Buzz Aldrin, Dave Scott explored the moon’s surface wearing a Bulova chronograph during the Apollo 15 mission in 1971.
5. Deeper dives are possible with a helium release valve
The helium release valves in watches help to relieve build up in the watch case due to the pressurization of the external environment and not directly related to submersion into deeper waters.
6. Rolex accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on Mount Everest
The legendary company did sponsor the trek, but the timepiece actually worn by Sir Hillary was the Oyster Perpetual Chronometer. While considered a prototype of the Explorer, it was not actually an early edition of this timepiece.
7. Wrists breathe better with vented straps
This design feature helps divers keep their watch bands tight under increased water pressure. However, these ripples are almost useless on dry land.
8. The first wristwatch was created by Patek Philippe
Although Patek Philippe is listed in the Guinness World Record as the creator of the first wristwatch in 1868, horology shows that Breguet actually created this innovative timepiece in 1812 for Napoleon’s sister Caroline Murat.
9. Moving your arms underwater increases a watch’s water pressure
Though a quite common thought, arm movement underwater actually has little to no impact on a watch’s water pressure.
10. Steve McQueen wore the Explorer II
The cool demeanor of Steve McQueen is complemented by the story that he often wore the Explorer II. Yet, all you have to do is take a look at some of the photographs of McQueen to notice that he was extremely loyal to the Submariner instead.
11. World War II Soldiers Received Free Rolex Watches
This is untrue. However, founder Hans Wilsdorf did create a program where British soldiers could purchase a watch but did not have to pay for it until the war was over.
12. The rotating bezel tracks oxygen usage while diving
While the bezel does a sufficient job of tracking the hours that pass, the best way to determine oxygen levels is through their pressure gauges.
13. Divers only use dive watches
While the innovation of dive watches are directly correlated to first-hand experience from divers, computer technology has taken on many of the functions that dive watches used to be commonly used for.